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In What Ways Is 'The New Imperialism' Really New?

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This essay argues that it is a matter of vital concern to develop a theoretical apparatus that is adequate to the inherent spatiotemporal dynamics of capital accumulation and the changing practices developed to manage the crisis tendencies of those dynamics. This requires integrating the a-spatial theory of capital accumulation and its internal contradictions with the spatial/geographical theory of imperialism that invokes geopolitical and geo-economic struggles between nation-states. I argue that the two are linked by the way capital deals with the problem of absorbing capital surpluses, namely through geographical (and temporal) fixes. The geographical fix requires imperialist expansionism and the battering down of all barriers to the spatial movement of capital. Such a conception provides the necessary clarity in formulating the relations between capital and state that are sometimes missing from Ellen M. Wood's arguments in Empire of Capital.

Affiliations: 1: Graduate Center, City University of New York;, Email:


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